At age 13 Paul was hunting big game in Africa with his father, not as a sport but to provide food for the station. With his father he's hunted rogue leopard's that were stealing livestock from a village. He's had a leopard's face six inches from his own in the middle of the night where the only thing protecting him was the mosquito net. He has single handedly sailed a 34 foot ketch from Tahiti to Hawaii.
Paul Stam was born of missionary parents in the northeast corner of the Belgian Congo just a few miles from both the Uganda and Sudan borders, which was about as far into Africa as you could go. He grew up listening to the accounts of the old timers, some of who were the first whites in that part of Africa. From them he heard the tribal traditions that they had heard from the "Story Keepers."
Just before the end of World War II, when he was 15, he came with his parents to the United States.
After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard a destroyer during the Korean War. His tour of duty completed, Paul attend the University of Minnesota and later joined the staff. While on the staff the University of Minnesota sent Paul to the Hawaiian Islands to attend a conference.
Paul immediately fell in love with the Islands. When he returned to Minnesota he turned in his resignation and headed back to the Islands.
Paul had been writing for many years. His first publication was during high school. His English teacher submitted one of his assignments - a short story - to a national magazine of high school literature. That was the first of several short stories and articles published in various magazines in the following years. His first novel was published 1978. His writing took a hiatus when he started sailing.
Within two months of arriving in Hawaii, Paul was crewing on a sailboat. After a year of sailing the pacific on other people's boats, Paul decided it was time to get a boat of his own. Together with his wife Terry and their ten-year-old son Steven, they built their dreamboat, which they launched in 1978. He signed the contract for his first book aboard their newly launched "Waiola."
After eight years of sailing between Hawaii and French Polynesia they sold the boat and started living a normal life so Steven could attend college.
Among other things, pretty much in this order, Paul has been a construction worker (while going to college), university teacher and administrator before and after the sailing days and a sailboat skipper.
Paul is now retired and lives in Hawaii where he spends a lot of time on the potter's wheel making bowls and mugs and at the computer writing. Income from the sale of books and pottery supports pottery therapy for autistic teenagers and young adults.